Sally Hogshead is the world’s authority on the science of fascination. Based on her studies of over 600,000 people, her company developed the very first methodology to actually measure your personal brand; it’s called ‘The Fascination Advantage’. Sally was last on EOFire sharing the results of the over 1,600 Fire Nation listeners who jumped on her offer when she gave away her Fascination Advantage on episode 611, the # 3 ranked episode in the over 1,100 EOFire episodes to date! Sally, how does it feel to be so beloved by Fire Nation?
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Best Business Book for Goals
Sally: I am so ready. I am right here. I’m pouring kerosene.
John: Oh, I love it. Sally is the world’s authority on the science of fascination. Based on her studies of over 700000 people, her company developed the very first methodology to actually measure your personal brand named The Fascination Advantage.
Sally was last on EO Fire sharing the results of the other 20000 Fire Nation listeners who jumped on her offer when she gave away her Fascination Advantage back on Episode 611, the No. 3 ranked episode ever on EO Fire. Sally, how does it feel to be so beloved by Fire Nation?
Sally: I gotta tell, I love Fire Nation because they are engaged, they’re kinda hyper in a good way they love to comment, they love to talk about big picture business concepts, so I am super psyched to be able to be talking to you told, John.
John: Well, Sally, Fire Nation loves you for all of those reasons, too. Could you take a quick minute? Because we listen to every episode here. Fire Nation has definitely heard you before, actually twice, luckily, but give us a quick intro. Kinda catch us up to where you’re at right now.
Sally: Yeah. Since we last talked, the first time we talked, I had not published my book, How the World Sees You, and you have to tell you that my conversation with you, John, was really fundamentally transformative in helping me understand that the key point of my book – one of the biggest things that I learned in that interview was the way you responded when I said, “Different is better than better.” In other words, it’s good to be better than your competition or other people in your category, but it’s far more important to be different.
I thought that was a cool concept, but the way that you responded showed me that was really something I needed to drill down on, and so I pushed my research into that area.
Since then, what I found is that brands and people that are different can charge up to 400 percent more than ones that just try to be better. If you try to be better than other people, then you’re not going to get very far, but if you try to be different, you can really make a huge difference in the world and in your bottom line.
After the book came out, you and I stayed in contact, I listened to your podcast constantly, read everything you write, and I found that when I apply that, it’s allowed me to become more different, not to change who I am, but to become more of who I am.
Now, here we are. We’re working on the Freedom Journal, we’re finding ways to make our business smarter, more specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, and we’ve fundamentally changed some of the ways in which we do business to make sure that we’re not making it up as we go along. We actually have goals and a way to achieve them. I thank you for that.
John: Well, Sally, I thank you. I mean, the ripple effect that you’re having on this world and with Fire Nation specifically is just continuing day in, day out. I just love continuing to receive the emails from people who have listened.
Again, this is now almost 600 episodes ago, but they’re just like, “Hey, I just listened to this yesterday, and Sally’s so awesome,” and it’s like a time travel, but that’s the beauty of podcasts, is they are evergreen.
People are just hearing that every single day. I’m loving your message, your mission. That’s why when I came up with my dream list of 33 potential guests of EO Fire that I could bring back on to talk about goals, I mean, Sally, you literally were at the top of that list. I’m so glad that you agree because you’re a busy woman, you’re changing the world.
I just kinda wanna maybe ask you because you just kinda gave us a quick break down about why goals are important to you. Within those is SMART. You mentioned specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound.
We focus on setting that right at the beginning of the Freedom Journal. All of them are important, but which one really steps out to you? Can you kind of expound upon that for a minute?
Sally: Yes. As an entrepreneur, my greatest weakness is that I tend to not focus on things that are not concrete, detail oriented, and measurable.
Spreadsheets are my quick sand, so it’s really important to me to surround myself with people who are great with details because when I work on details and measurable results, it’s draining to me, and I’m not gonna be able to deliver at my highest value.
In other words, that is not my advantage. I do not have a competitive advantage in that area, and when I work on something that the criteria is a specific measurable outcome, I’m not gonna be able to be seen in any best light, and I really probably won’t be able to contribute as much as I could in other areas.
A lot of entrepreneurs are like that. I chose that area because it’s so difficult for me and because it was such a huge breakthrough for me when I was able to apply the area of measuring results and having tangible concrete outcomes instead of just creating an emotional connection, or a relationship, or a big brand idea.
To really be able to drill down and take the spreadsheet and find ways to make it very actionable, that gives me freedom because what that means is I don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel and making it up over and over again, and coming up with these high-level big picture things, and instead be able to have a plan that the team can implement. Hey, remember, John, when you guys went out of – you went out of the country for six weeks?
John: Yeah, we were gone.
Sally: My first question to you was, and you said everybody asks this question, my first question to you was, “How often did you have to get up to call back to the office,” and you said – do you remember this?
John: Oh yeah, clearly.
Sally: You were like, “We prepped it. We were done. We were out. We didn’t have to.” I didn’t have that in my business. I didn’t have something that was replicable, scalable, actionable, and that I could automate, and so I chose measurable as the area because for me, it’s the most painful.
John: Sally, I love when I talk about teams and how you’ve built your team. Back on episode 611, we actually talked about how I’m a victor in case in orchestrater, and why that was a great fit for us, where we’re at right now. We’ll, we’ve even taken that to the next level, and Fire Nation has as well.
Who’s listening, if you haven’t yet and you are building a team, this is the way you do it. We have a hall of the people that we now hire, all of our virtual assistants. They take this test, the Fascination Advantage, and we hire them baste off of that because we’re looking to fill a specific position.
They need to fit these specific criteria, and we’ll know if they will because of that. Fire Nation, think about that. You gotta build the right team with the right people.
Yes, you could go away to Europe for six weeks and just have an away message that just said, “Hey, contact JM, our head VA, she’ll take care of everything,” and she did, and we were turned off, and we could do that. We came back and we still generated over $250000.00 in that months and a half of revenue automated –
Sally: That’s so awesome.
John: – as we were walking the ruins of Rome, I mean, beautiful. Sally, you have a lot of great stories. You’ve shared a lot on past episodes, but can you tell us a story of a time that you set and accomplished a goal?
Sally: Yes. Let me first describe, one of the things that we learned recently in our research that was a huge epiphany for me and for others is that when we went inside of organizations, from big companies like AT&T and GE, or small businesses and even within entrepreneurial organizations, we studied the high performers.
What we found that the high-performers did differently was not that they had one particular personality style, but that they understood that they were delivering a specific benefit. In other words, the people who were really good at being the team cheerleader were really good at being the team cheerleader, and they focus the their energy there, and they didn’t try to drill down into the minutia.
Conversely, people who were extremely good at building a system and executing a methodology, and getting in the weeds and really kind of looking at the small picture, didn’t try to be the team cheerleader.
What we learned out of this was that it’s critical to have a specialty, and that when a person has a specialty, they become far more attractive and desirable professionally. Clients will pay more to work with them. People will go out of their way to work with somebody that has a clear-cut specialty.
Now, I’m not talking about a niche. I’m not talking about whether you serve financial advisors or wellness coaches. I’m talking about having a particular way that your personality is uniquely suited to deliver value to other people.
That’s what we’re measuring when people take the Fascination Advantage assessment. I experienced this in my own personal life. You know how you can study a hypnotist and then you’re hypnotized, and you realize?
John: Oh, yeah.
Sally: It’s like, “Oh, it turns out I’m human, and my brain functions like everybody else’s.” Let me give you an example of what happened. We live in Orlando, my husband and I, and John, as you know, we have eight kids. We’re a blended family, four boys, four girls.
We lived in a beautiful house that I loved, we lived there for years, and there was this one house in our neighborhood that I always used to walk passed and kinda lusted for it. Have you ever lusted for a house, a piece of property, where you were almost infatuated with it?
John: Where I’m standing right now, I can see it out of my bay view. It’s lusting.
Sally: Right, and it’s desire, and it’s not rational. Well, there is this house that was three doors down from ours, and it was a purple Victorian, and the key defining quality of it was that it has two turrets. Do you know what a turret is, that Victorian feature where it’s a round room and the pointed –
John: I’m from New England, so we got a bunch of those up there.
Sally: See, I’m from Orlando where the city was basically settled by Walt Disney in the ‘60s and ‘70s, so everything is a square Florida home, but my whole life, I’d always wanted a turret. It tapped into something that was from my childhood that I don’t even know what it was tiara era, and I lusted for this purple Victorian house with two turrets. My husband knew this.
One day, we walked past the house and it said that there was a for sale. It said that the house was for sale in a very, very small sign in the upper window. I just looked at my husband –
John: You’re like, “Is that window for sale, or is this whole house for sale?”
Sally: No, I would just buy a turret. I’m gonna take the turret. I’m gonna plop it on to my house three doors down. Looked at my husband with that look where your kid sees the puppy in the window. I could tell that in that mind, he just sort of – he almost rolled his eyes, like, “I love you so much, and I’m totally screwed,” because he knew that this was a fait accompli.
You know how it goes. We called the realtor, the realtor said, “Yes, we’re taking bids on the house. It’ll be open for 24 hours, and then the auction will close.” Well, long story short, I am calling you from inside the turret of the purple Victorian house. Here’s the point that I wanna make.
This house had a very particular specialty that it was offering, just like those high-performers that we saw when we went inside of companies like Porsche and Twitter. We saw that the high-performers have – they’re delivering a very specific benefit, and they’re over-delivering on that one benefit instead of being all things to all people.
In the same way, this house spoke to me with a very specific benefit. It’s the only purple house, it’s the only Victorian house, and it’s definitely the only house with two turrets in our neighborhood.
Because of that, I was willing to sell a house that we loved with the same school district, the same view, the same backyard, the same childhood local neighborhood friends, moved three doors down just because it had turrets.
The point I wanna make is I want everybody who’s talking was us today to think about what is your inner turret. What is that quality that you have that just as it’s irrational for me to fall in love with a house because it has an architectural feature of a pointed roof with circular windows.
That makes absolutely no sense, but yet it spoke to me so strongly I was willing to go way out of my way to pay more money to go to completely irrational lengths to move from one house to the other.
In the same way, we each have qualities that speak to other people that cause them to wanna pay more money for what we to, to choose us over others, and help us stand out in a distracted, crowded, and commoditized world.
It’s crucial for us, especially as entrepreneurs, to understand what is our inner turret so that when we create our marketing, and we talk to prospects, and we build our business, and the message that matters that we know how we did best serve other people, who’s right for us and who’s not right for us.
John: There’s so many things within that, Fire Nation, that I wanna pull out, but I’m not going to because you have the opportunity to press the rewind button to go listen to that again because I’m more interested in kind of an awkward segue right here because Sally, I sent you an advanced copy of the Freedom Journal, and we were talking not too long ago, and you were saying your husband stole it –
Sally: He stole it.
John: – “Can you send me another one?” he’s starting a law firm, and he’s going to actually be launching his law firm through the Hundred Day Goal and then the Freedom Journal. Did the second copy arrive?
Sally: Yes, yes.
John: Okay, good.
Sally: You know what? You know what’s so funny is that my husband and I have a life assistant. It’s somebody who helps us make sure that our life stays on track inside the purple Victorian house, the house of fascination.
I wrote a big note to her that said, “The Freedom Journal’s coming. When it comes, put it on my bet side table,” and then she hand delivered it to me as soon as it got here beautifully wrapped, and I am so grateful to you because I don’t wanna be mad at my husband for stealing it, and I understood why he did it, but he’s getting so much value out of it that he kinda got possessive. He’s smacking my hand away when I’m trying –
John: This is music to my ears, Fire Nation. We’re hearing to from Sally’s lips right to your heart. Now, Sally, speaking of value, I mean, you have so much value that you’ve already given. You have so much value you’re going to be giving in the Freedom Round, which is coming right up. We’re gonna take a quick minute to thank our sponsors. Sally, are you prepared for the Freedom Rounds?
Sally: I am totally ready. Bring it on, bring on the kerosene. Fire Nation, we are lighting it up.
John: Why do you feel that most entrepreneurs fail to set smart goals?
Sally: Because we tend to be so creative, we tend to have kind of a professional ADD, that we like to be able to absorb things. We wanna move forward into what’s next. We like to be able to see how things can change and evolve rather than looking back and figure out how we did fix things.
Here’s the thing I want everybody to know. You don’t have to change who you are, you have to become more of who you are. In order more you to become more of who you are, it’s critical for you to surround yourself with a team that can support that entrepreneurial drive, not drag you down, not force you to go into the weeds and do the things that you know in your heart that you’re not good at and that cause your energy to plummet and your morale to die. Instead, surround yourself with people who allow you to become more of who you are because they’re different than you.
John: Sally, what’s the most important action that entrepreneurs can take once they’ve set a goal?
Sally: To do exactly what I have not been good at, but I’m now committed to after I’ve been reading the Freedom Journal, which is understand exactly where you wanna go, and make it measurable because if you don’t have measurable, tangible steps along the way, then all of a sudden, it becomes about how you feel on a given day.
You wake up, you feel stressed, and suddenly you’re stressing out your team. You feel like you’re not achieving your goals and you get down on yourself when in fact, maybe if you really looked at the data, you would find that you are surpassing yourself in a way that you didn’t originally know.
John: Sally, every day, you’re taking a ton of actions that result in the current success that you have, but if you could just pull out one, what do you think is one action that you take daily that brings you closer to your goals?
Sally: I haven’t been protecting my inspiration, and as a result, I have been exhausted in content creation and meetings and presentations. The one action that I have recently committed to myself is that I’ve gotta be able to find joy in my work.
I’m working on some projects. I’m figuring out how they’re gonna contribute to the bottom line, but the point is they have brought back my passion, and energy, and zest for what I do. That’s so crucial for me to be able to deliver to all the people in my world.
John: Sally, how important is accountability when setting goals?
Sally: I’m not great at accountability, and so I have people around me who help me and support me in that area. It’s very hard for me to stick to deadlines, schedules, budgets, timelines. What I do is I empower my team to say, “I need you to start texting me every ten minutes if you need to.”
I have these mechanisms that have, in a sense, automated accountability because I get so much in my groove. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are like that. If you’re not good at details and accountability and deliverables, then you have to find a way to make sure that you’re still accountable, it just doesn’t have to be you staring at the clock.
John: Sally, you’ve written a lot of great books, you’ve read a ton of great books, but if you could just say one book that you think would help Fire Nation in their journey of setting and accomplishing goals, what would that be?
Sally: The book Switch: How to Change when Change is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s named switch. We’ve recently, after reading the book, I created a whole workshop yesterday with my entire team. Everybody same into Orlando, and we did a whole session about instead of focusing on what we need to fix from 2015, what are the things that we did right. Chip it Dan Heath call them bright spots.
Each person, they did a 15-minute presentation on something we did right that we don’t even realize we did right, but looking back, when we’re going over the data and going over the engagement and feedback, what can we replicate, instead of changing what we’re doing, how do we keep doing more of what we’re doing right.
It was a phenomenal exercise because it was so positive. It was a completely different way of looking at things. Instead of looking at the numbers and saying, “Oh, well, we got A’s in these areas, but C in that area. How do we fix the C,” instead, it was like, “Yay, let’s just keep doing more of what brings us and our community joy.”
John: Basically, EO Fire is what you’re saying.
Sally: More EO Fire, that’s right.
John: Sally, I wanna end today on fire with you sharing a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say good-bye.
Sally: Oh, I love that. The best way that people can connect with me is by taking advantage of this awesome gift that you’re giving them, John, by allowing them to take the Fascination Advantage assessment. It’s totally free, people can share it, and here’s how I recommend that they use the Fascination Advantage.
If you have a team, give it to everybody on your team, and then print out your results, and have a lunch and learn, or an off-site meeting, or even just a half-hour team meeting, and talk about each other’s advantages.
For the first half of my career, I was a copywriter in advertising, and I learned how to identify the perfect words to describe a brand to help it become more valuable, to find those differences.
In the report, I literally give you pre-written marketing language to describe how you communicate and how you add value. Also, it’s a great date night. I know you guys have done it for a date night. You take the assessment –
John: Multiple times, I’m not ashamed to say.
Sally: Yeah, I know. Well, that’s why it’s so great for you to understand the people around you. Your clients, your book club, etc. I encourage people to share the code on Facebook and Twitter and start conversations to say – for me, I communicate with passion and innovation, but yet, I love knowing the people in my groups, in my Twitter following, on my Facebook page to learn how they communicate differently than I do so that I can see how I’m shaping my team and the world around me.
John: What was that link and code?
Sally: Oh. The code is howtofascinate.com/you, Y-O-U, howtofascinate.com/you, and the code is fire, F-I-R-E.
John: Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Sally and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. Just type Sally in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop up, the episode 611, even the one prior to that all through you can listen to. They were all epic for awesome reasons.
Again, Fire Nation, howtofascinate.com/you. Use the promo code fire and you can get to this test for free, you can share it with your friends, your co-workers, your peers, your parents, whomever. They will get a ton of value from it, and you will just, believe me, love reading the results because it is so spot on.
Join the over 20000 Fire Nation listeners who have done so. What I love, Sally, kinda quick side note, is that you actually use Fire Nation in some of your keynotes as an example, which is so cool.
Sally: Yes, yeah, of a community. John, I’d love to be able to share the analytics that we’ve done on your team. Maybe that’s something that we can share as part of the interview so that people can see how Fire Nation is different than the average population, different than the 700000 people we’ve measured overall.
John: That’d be so cool. Let’s do that.
Sally: Okay, cool beans. Thank you, John. Thank you, Fire Nation.
John: Sally, you rock. We’ll catch you on the flip side.
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